The US District Court for the Northern District of California handed down a decision
license in the content. And absent that provision, Craigslist could do pretty much anything it wanted with the content except sue for its unauthorized use. Craigslist salvaged a little of its copyright claim by pointing to a statement that it issued to users who posted classifieds during the period from July 16, 2012 through August 8, 2012. That statement advised users that by submitting content, they were “confirming” that Craigslist acquired and exclusive license to all ads submitted. But apparently due to some bad PR, Craigslist stopped that practice. As a result, the court found that Craigslist could assert a copyright claim only for ads submitted during that 3 week window. It dismissed the copyright claims related to ads posted before or after. So what to make of this? If you run a site that uses third party content, better look at your TOU and make sure those terms match your expectations. If you are an aggregator, don’t assume that content that looks for all the world like non-copyrightable information lacks all degree of creativity. Minimal apparently really means minimal.